HIV Anxiety Support User Group
Help me! :(
About This Group:

This support group is for those who are suffering from stress or anxiety associated with uncertain HIV status. HIV anxiety is extremely isolating for those who are going through it, as it is often very difficult to discuss with friends and family members. This group is provided for sufferers of HIV anxiety to discuss their fears in a supportive environment. Those with anxiety over non-HIV STDs are also welcome. For personal advice concerning HIV risk, testing, and prevention, please post in the HIV Prevention Community.

Founded by joggen on October 4, 2009
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Help me! :(

About 25 days ago I had this incident

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/HIV-Prevention/Concerned-of-unprotected-encounter/show/1778864#post_8181260

and have been reassured by members of the HIV Prevention Community that I never had an exposure.

Now, exactly 3 weeks after this encounter, I started having a fever of 38.0 Celsious, white pus on my left tonsil and incredible pain, swollen lymphs and even a lump or two next to my jaw, fatigue, and my tongue is white.
I went to the doctor today because I needed a prescription of antibiotics for my tonsil and she told me that I have 3 out of 4 symptoms of tonsillitis, because there was no cough and she also told me that because of the low fever tonsillitis may be because of a virus and not bacteria and that's when I totally fell apart!
In addition, I couldn't tell her about my incident because people entered her office all the time and couldn't talk to her about that.

Since I don't have a credit card, I cannot ask for doctors opinion on this or any other forum, but in my research I found this

http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/SafeSex/Q206025.html

and this http://www.medhelp.org/posts/HIV---Prevention/HIV-risk-from-condom-inside-out/show/679440

and I'm not sure wether my chances of contracting HIV are non-existent, negligible or small.

Can I take an HIV test on 4 weeks, even if I'm still sick? I know it's not gonna be conclusive, but I honestly can't wait for another 8 weeks, it's too long and I'm already a wreck :(

10 Comments
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1629919_tn?1407244906
Lulla, however concerned you are it does not change the risk that you had and that quiet simpley put is a no risk situation. You were correct to use a condom, so well done, but for the reasons that were given to you in the other thread, you just didnt have a risk. Of course if you choose to test then expect nothing more than a negative outcome.
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Avatar_f_tn
I cannot travel and take a test now that I am sick. I can't eat, I can't sleep well, I'm having random panic attacks during daytime and there's litterally no one to talk to about this problem.
I've been given a warning on the HIV Prevention forum that if I'm gonna continue posting, questioning my no-risk situation, they're gonna ban me from this site.

But how can I be certain that there is no risk when doctors' opinions vary?
Others say that there is no risk, others see potential risk in my situation.
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Avatar_f_tn
I read through the doctor opinions you posted and they really don´t vary that much, both of them see no reason to worry in a situation like that. So don´t you worry either.
But you can always get tested (if you hadn´t already), the result will be negative for sure. You can do it already and if you want again at 3 months but for sure it wouldn´t even be necessary.
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh, they really vary. One says there's negligible risk and the other says there is some risk. To me, it's a huge difference.
But even if I was told that chances are 1 in a billion, I would still be sure that my incident would be the one in the whole billion.
Where I am located, there is no clinic to get tested and right now I cannot travel. I'm gonna have to wait another month or so to get tested and get my 8 weeks results :(

Anyway, thanks for the support, I really appreciate it :)
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Avatar_m_tn
You were told by some very knowledgeable people on the HIV Community forum that you did not have a risk because a condom was use (well done by the way!).  

Even though you initially put it on backwards that makes no difference because you immediately noticed and put it on the right way before intercourse.  Unless the condom broke on you (which you would've definitely noticed) you did not have a risk in any shape or form.  Your concern is that there was pre-ejaculatory on the condom before putting it on correctly, but once again this poses no risk because, as you were told repeatedly, HIV cannot survive outside its host once it's exposed to air.  You used a condom, it didn't break, so you have NOTHING to worry about as far as HIV is concerned.

Now, being someone that suffers from HIV anxiety/OCD as well, I can understand why you have trouble shaking the concern.  In the back of your mind there's always those "what if?!" thoughts going on and they never seem to go away.  You will not be that first person out of a billion to defy all odds and suddenly become infected in such a way.  I can promise you that.  The way I see it though, no matter how much reassurance you get from expert opinions you will not be able to relax until you find out for sure whether or not you are negative.  

My advice to you? Just get tested solely for the purpose of putting your mind at ease.  Once you get that negative result (which I guarantee you will) you'll be able to finally move on with your life.  Based on your initial post your incident took place about 5 weeks ago.  Based on the information provided by the doctors in the Expert forum, over 90% of new infections will turn up positive at 4-5 weeks post exposure via a standard 3rd generation antibody test, while about 100% of new infections will turn up positive via a 4th generation DUO test.  Either way your results will be very reassuring at this point.  

Get tested, get your negative result, and move on with your life while continuing to practice safe sex like you've already been doing!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hey! I understand you perfectly since I´m going through the same battle as you are, I haven´t had a risk situation but in my head I create horror scenarios. But you need to realize that the problem is in your head. You have received advice from experts, not from people who wouldn´t know what they are talking about. Besides it´s a fact that the hiv is not a virus easy to get. Unfortunately human mind is very powerful and sometimes doesn´t listen to reason. You said that you have to travel to get tested but there must be some medical staff near you to whom you could talk or you can write to me or someone else in this forum if you want. I really recommend you to talk about your fears, it´ll help. Take care!
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Avatar_f_tn
I haven't found anything concrete regarding the virus's air exposure. Some people say it instantly becomes inactive, some say that it takes minutes.
That is my main problem.
The main reason I joined this (helpful overall) community is that I thought that every risk assessment was made by doctors.
I know that people here on this forum have deep knowledge of the issue, it's just that in MY case doctors seem to think otherwise.

As for DUO tests and other stuff like this, where I live there's wasn't even an OB-GYN physician up until a couple of months ago, nobody here has ever heard of DUO tests and there is no facility to take one in 100mile range. And I also asked the OB-GYN during routine exam and she told me that I was at risk and that I do need to get tested for HIV and Hep B and C.

Then at 3 weeks I got really sick with a bunch of ARS symptoms.

If this is not confusing and stressful, I don't know what is.

@hehapu
If there was reliable medical staff anywhare near to me, I would have consulted them. They can only be trusted when it comes to cholesterol or blood sugar testing. They even insisted on wrong medication for over a month on my father a few years back and it nearly got him killed. Would you trust them?
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Avatar_m_tn
You're discrediting the expertise of the medical staff in your area yet you're willing to buy into what your OB-GYN tells you as far as you having had a "risk" is concerned?  

First off, stay off of the net.  The more you read about HIV on the net, the more it's going to trigger your fears.  There is a lot of contradicting information available online, and in my opinion, sites like this one offer the most reliable insight into risks associated with HIV.

Anyways, once again you used a condom and it didn't break, that alone shows you didn't have a risk.  Your concern is that there may or may not have been some pre-ejaculatory fluid on the condom when you turned around.  However you do realize that any traces of pre-ejac fluid (if there even was any to begin with!) would've very likely been wiped off by your hands when reversing the condom and putting back onto your partner's penis.  Combine that with the fact that HIV cannot survive outside of its host and you really have nothing to be concerned about.

That being said, it seems like the only thing that is going to put your mind at ease is getting tested.  At this point you're over 5 weeks away from when your incident occurred.  A standard anti-body test is 98-100% reliable at the 6-8 week mark according to this website's medical experts.  Go get tested, get your negative result (and it will be negative) and move on with your life.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I had to ask someone. I felt the need to discuss this with someone who was sitting in front of me, and didn't have a username. This OB-GYN was the closest to an ID doctor there is.I live in a small town with no actual hospital. My options were very limited to begin with.

I am well aware of the fact that by next week I'm gonna be able to take a test, it's just that I can't make travel arrangements until mid September at least, so I'm gonna have to wait for an 8 week mark.

I am a little calmer now, trying to focus and meet deadlines. I believe I have made some progress today and I didn't suffer any panic attack so I guess I'm handling it a little better.
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Avatar_m_tn
You're gonna be just fine, and you yourself know that you're gonna be fine.  Just keep reminding yourself that you used a condom and you engaged in SAFE SEX.  Everything else such as symptoms or some of the nonsense you read online is irrelevant.  If anything you should give yourself a pat on the back for being responsible enough to use a condom, as there are PLENTY of people out there (myself included in the past) that don't act with the same level of responsibility.  You however did, and I applaud you for it!  

Once again, I do think that getting tested and getting your negative result will be the only thing that will completely calm you down.  In the meantime however I want you to just keep yourself BUSY as much as possible.  Whether it's with studies, work, hobbies, hanging with friends...whatever! Just do it to keep your mind busy and to keep you relaxed.  When all is said and done we're all gonna have a good laugh over this I'm sure ;)

Best wishes!
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